"The General Synod today gave its final approval for women to become bishops in the Church of England," paving the way for appointments in the near future, and perhaps as soon as later this year. The vote comes after a long and contentious debate on the subject. The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby: "My aim, and I believe the aim of the whole church, should be to be able to offer a place of welcome and growth for all. Today is a time of blessing and gift from God and thus of generosity. It is not winner take all, but in love a time for the family to move on together." A round-up of responses can be found here and here. NPR coverage.
On January 11, 2010, Canon David Parrott blessed laptop computers and mobile phones during the Plow Monday service at St Lawrence Jewry Church in the City of London. Plough Monday is the traditional start of the English agricultural year, and the Church was involved with blessing of tools for the coming year. Before it was involved with church services, Plough Monday was a time for folk plays and dancing (associated with other Mummers plays), with regional variations. Some new Molly Dancers have revived the traditions, complete with plow. There were also races to see who would start their work the earliest, to show their readiness to commence the labors of the year. So sing out now and walk your plough (or play a ring tone on your mobile phone). [more inside]
"Charles Darwin: 200 years from your birth, the Church of England owes you an apology for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still." The comments are included on a Church of England website promoting the views of Charles Darwin to be launched on Monday.
On November 14, 1940, German bombers flew through the skies for nine hours above Coventry, England in a raid that Winston Churchill probably didn't know about but if he did, did nothing to prepare for. The bombers dropped thousands of pounds of explosives and incendiaries that resulted in hundreds of deaths and huge destruction. Coventry, perhaps best known before the war for naked horseback riding and the manufacture of pretty-but-malfunction-prone automobiles, was also home to a grand cathedral, St. Michael's Church, one of the greatest cathedrals in England. The cathedral was nearly destroyed; the fire left behind little but debris and the still-standing outer walls and spire. [more inside]
Hobby religion considers major change. The Church of England is considering a motion to dump its patron saint, St. George, noted for slaying dragons and being a fictional character. You see, he might be offensive to muslims. Next up, "Should 'Jerusalem' be abandoned for 'Peace Train'?"